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|1 Awn of the pistillate scale tapering gradually into the scale; perigynium 2-ribbed, and also distinctly and evenly nerved between the ribs; [of swamps and marshes]|
|1 Awn of the pistillate scale emerging from a retuse notch in the apex of the scale; perigynium 2-ribbed, obscurely nerved between the ribs; [generally of acid seepages, pocosins, and blackwater situations, often associated with Pinus serotina].|
|..2 Lowest pistillate spike drooping, on a peduncle 1-4 cm long; perigynia reddish-glaucous, lacking nerves; achenes slightly longer than wide|
|..2 Lowest pistillate spike erect, sessile or with a peduncle up to 1 cm long; perigynia white-glaucous, rather distinctly 6-8 nerved; achenes as wide as long|